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Introduction to Business

Summary of Learning Outcomes

Introduction to BusinessSummary of Learning Outcomes

9.1 Early Theories of Motivation

  1. What are the basic principles of Frederick Taylor’s concept of scientific management?

Scientific management is based on the belief that employees are motivated by economic incentives and that there is “one best way” to perform any job. The four basic principles of scientific management developed by Taylor are as follows:

  1. Develop a scientific approach for each element of a person’s job.
  2. Scientifically select, train, teach, and develop workers.
  3. Encourage cooperation between workers and managers so that each job can be accomplished in a standard, scientifically determined way.
  4. Divide work and responsibility between management and workers according to who is better suited to each task.

9.2 The Hawthorne Studies

  1. What did Elton Mayo’s Hawthorne studies reveal about worker motivation?

The pride that comes from special attention motivates workers to increase their productivity. Supervisors who allow employees to have some control over their situation appeared to further increase the workers’ motivation. The Hawthorne effect suggests that employees will perform better when they feel singled out for special attention or feel that management is concerned about employee welfare.

9.3 Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

  1. What is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and how do these needs relate to employee motivation?

Maslow believed that each individual has a hierarchy of needs, consisting of physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization needs. Managers who accept Maslow’s ideas attempt to increase employee motivation by modifying organizational and managerial practices to increase the likelihood that employees will meet all levels of needs. Maslow’s theory has also helped managers understand that it is hard to motivate people by appealing to already-satisfied needs.

9.4 McGregor's Theories X and Y

  1. How are McGregor’s Theories X and Y and Ouchi’s Theory Z used to explain worker motivation?

Douglas McGregor influenced the study of motivation with his formulation of two contrasting sets of assumptions about human nature—designated Theory X and Theory Y. Theory X says people don’t like to work and will avoid it if they can. Because people don’t like to work, they must be controlled, directed, or threatened to get them to make an effort. Theory Y says that people want to be self-directed and will try to accomplish goals that they believe in. Workers can be motivated with positive incentives. McGregor personally believed that Theory Y assumptions describe most employees and that managers seeking to motivate subordinates should develop management practices based on those assumptions.

William Ouchi’s Theory Z combines U.S. and Japanese business practices. Theory Z emphasizes long-term employment, slow career development, and group decision-making. The long-term decline of the Japanese economy has resulted in most U.S. firms moving away from Japanese management practices.

9.5 Herzberg's Motivator-Hygiene Theory

  1. What are the basic components of Herzberg’s motivator-hygiene theory?

Frederick Herzberg’s studies indicated that certain job factors are consistently related to employee job satisfaction whereas others can create job dissatisfaction. According to Herzberg, motivating factors (also called satisfiers) are primarily intrinsic job elements that lead to satisfaction, such as achievement, recognition, the (nature of) work itself, responsibility, advancement, and growth. What Herzberg termed hygiene factors (also called dissatisfiers) are extrinsic elements of the work environment such as company policy, relationships with supervisors, working conditions, relationships with peers and subordinates, salary and benefits, and job security. These are factors that can result in job dissatisfaction if not well managed. One of the most interesting results of Herzberg’s studies was the implication that the opposite of satisfaction is not dissatisfaction. Herzberg believed that proper management of hygiene factors could prevent employee dissatisfaction, but that these factors could not serve as a source of satisfaction or motivation.

9.6 Contemporary Views on Motivation

  1. What four contemporary theories on employee motivation offer insights into improving employee performance?

According to expectancy theory, the probability of an individual acting in a particular way depends on the strength of that individual’s belief that the act will have a particular outcome and on whether the individual values that outcome. Equity theory is based on individuals’ perceptions about how fairly they are treated compared with their coworkers. Goal-setting theory states that employees are highly motivated to perform when specific goals are established and feedback on progress is offered. Reinforcement theory states that behavior is a function of consequences; that is, people do things because they know other things will follow.

9.7 From Motivation Theory to Application

  1. How can managers redesign existing jobs to increase employee motivation and performance?

The horizontal expansion of a job, which involves increasing the number and variety of tasks that a person performs, is called job enlargement. Increasing task diversity can enhance job satisfaction, particularly when the job is mundane and repetitive in nature. Job enrichment is the vertical expansion of an employee’s job to provide the employee with more autonomy, responsibility, and decision-making authority. Other popular motivational tools include work-scheduling options, employee-recognition programs, empowerment, and variable-pay programs.

9.8 Trends in Employee Motivation

  1. What initiatives are organizations using today to motivate and retain employees?

Today firms are using several key tactics to motivate and retain workers. First, companies are investing more in employee education and training, which makes employees more productive and confident in their jobs. Second, managers are giving employees the opportunity to participate in the ownership of the company, which can strongly increase employee commitment. Employers are providing more work-life benefits to employees, and a small but growing percentage of companies is offering employees paid sabbaticals in addition to regular vacation and sick time. As the composition of the workforce changes, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to understand how to manage knowledge workers. One method of doing this is establishing communities of practice that enable workers to share expertise across the organization. Finally, managers in today’s business environment need to pay special attention to managing absence rates and employee (and management) turnover.

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